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tv   Book TV  CSPAN  May 27, 2013 11:45pm-1:01am EDT

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thank you so much. i'm happy to be here. it's such a really wonderful. the energy is so good here. thank you for the wonderful introduction, and i'm such an incredible tour, it's i get more emotional every place i get. i think it's because this book is, as you said, a book that kind of burned through me like a fever, and it's so physical of my body and in my body. i'm sure there are plenty of the media activists here. thank you for the amazing work you've been doing for is so many years here. [applause] we thank you to all the women and men working on the front lines every day to stockpile -- stop violence against women and. thank you for doing the work. i want to start today, i think i want to say about this book
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somebody said people asking when it you start writing it? it's hard to gauge when you start writing a book. i think i probably started writing it when i was five years old. i really do. i think the writing began at end of my cancer treatment. it was kind of like diagnoses, treatment, the book. and they're all apart of the same process. i want to read the introduction. i think it will give you a kind of overview and understanding what the book is and we'll set up a lot that. s in the book. the book is done in cat scans. it scans. because i underwewent many c.a.t scans and i became obsessed with the metaphor of c.a.t scans. i was interested in the fact there are many pictures that get taken and the computer making them seem like one. it seems like that was the very
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interesting way of telling the story. i think so much of my life has been infrastructured infrastructure -- fractured in the pieces and scans and begin to amound to something. the introduction is called divided. a mother's body against a child's body makes place. it says, you are here. without this body against your body, there is no place. i envy people who miss their mother or miss a place or know something called home. the absence of body against my body created a gap, a whole, a hunger. the hunger determined my life. i have been exiled from my body, i was ejected at the very young age. i got lost. i county have a baby. i have been a free of trees. i have felt the effort as my enemy. i did not live in the forest. i lived in the concrete city where i could not see the sky or sunset or stars. i moved at the pace of engines
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and it was faster than my own breath. i became a stranger to myself and the rhythm of the earth. i grandize my alien identity and wore black and felt superior. my body was a burden. i thought it was something that had to be may be contained. i had little patience for the needs. the absence of a body against my body made my own body dislocate and unable to rest or settle. a body pressed again your intoid a beginning of nest. i grew up not in a home but in a kind of free fall of anger and violence that lead to a life of constant movement of leaving and falling. it is why one point i couldn't stop drinking and [ bleep ] why i needed to touch people and have people touch me all the time. it less to do with sex, really. than location. when you press against me or put yourself inside me. when you hold me, or lie on top of me. i can feel your weight. i exist. i am here.
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for years i have been trying to find my way back to my body and to the earth. i guess you say it was a preoccupation. although i have felt pleasure in most of the earth and my body it's more as a visitor than inhabit assistant. i tried various routes to get back. i have been timed by in the green vermont mountains. alwaysivity estranged. just as estranged from my own mother. i was in awe of her body but couldn't find my way in. her breasts were not the breasts that fed me. everyone admired my mother in the tight tops and leggings with her hair in a blond french twist as she drove through the rich town. i gawked and desired the earth and my mother. i despise my own body which was not her body. my body i had been forced to evacuate when my father invaded and violated me.
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i lived as a breastless patient machine programmed for striving accomplishment. i did not, inhabit my body or the earth. i couldn't feel or know their pain. i could not intoo -- i never the boundary of enough. i was driven. i called it working hard. being busy. on top of it. making things happen. in fact i could not stop. stopping would mean experiencing separation, loss, tumbling in to a suicidal dislocation. as i had no reference point if more body i began to ask other women about their body. in particular their vagina. it's very important. this lead me to writing the vagina monologue which lead me to talk about them obsessly. i did it in front of strangers. as a result of me talking women started telling me story about the body. i cries crossed the earth in plain -- plane, train and jeep.
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these women and girleds had become exiled from their body. i went to over sixty countries, i hearing-impaired about women being molested in the bed, burned in the kitchen. left for dead in parking lot. i went to many places. i spent time in camps and burped out buildings and backyards. in dark rooms where women whisper their story by flash light. they show me the angle lashes and the cars on their body from knives and burning cigarette. some could no longer walk and have sex. some became driive machines like me. then i went somewhere else. i went outside what i thought i knew. i went to the congo. and i heard stories that chattered all the other stories inspect 2007 we landed
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democratic republican of congo. and i heard stories that got inside my body. i heard about a little girl who couldn't stop peeing on herself because huge men had shoved themselves inside her. i heard about an 80 women who had legs broken and torn out of the sockets when the soldiers pulled them over the head and raped her. there were thousand of the stories. they saturated myself. i stopped sleeping. the raping of the earth, the pillaging of the earth. they were not separate from each other my. in the cob there's been a war ranching for almost thirteen years. nearly 78 million people have died and hundreds and thousands of women have been raped and tortured. it's an economic war. they enter villages and rape and murder.
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they force their sons and to rape their daughters and sisters. they shame and destroy families. they take over the minds. they are abundant in congo. of course by the time i got congo, i had witnessed the epidemic of violence between toward around the planet. but the congo and the individual individual horror story of the women consume me. here i began to see the future a vision of global disassociation and greed. not only allowed but encouraged the eradication of female species. i also found something else. inside these stories of unspeakable violence inside the women of congo was a determination and light force i had never witnessed. it was a grace and gratitude, fierceness, and readiness inside this world atrocity and horror was a red hot energy. waiting to be born.
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the congresswomen had hunger and extremelies, demands and -- it was city of joy. it would be the sanction ware a place of safety. releasing their pain and trauma. a place they declare joy and power. they would rise as leaders. i love my team who are committed to finding the resources and energy to help build it. we worked with them to do the construction. after them find the way to support. it the process of building was arduous and seemingly inpossible. and rising priced we were scheduled to open in may. on march 17, 2010, they discovered a huge tumor in my uterus. cancer threw me through the window of my disassociation in to the center of my body's crisis. the congo threw me deep to the crisis of the world.
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these two experiences merged as i face the disease and what i felt was the beginning. of my end. that's where the book begins. that's the overview of the book. this merging of two words, two world. and i think as i was diagnosed and came out of blue i was on my way to haiti i was suddenly told there was a tumor inside me. within four days i was in a radical operation noon hours long. i lost seven organs and 70 pounds. on my way to the mayo clinic i had a vision in my head on the airplane every time i closed my eyes i kept picturing this ball of yarn inside me. and the yarn was wrapped -- the ball was wrapped with the strings of yarn and each yarn was a piece of story i had heard over the years. it was just of a story of women and atrocity and story of pain.
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when i had tumor removed, i woke up and i was obsessed why my uterus, and i want to read this because i think -- well, i think there's a very direct correlation between the experience of trauma, the listening of trauma. the absorbing trauma and the creation of tumor and the creation of sickness. even thoi they may not directly related, they are indirectly related. what is most pressing now why cancer in my uterus, a hallow, muscular organ in the pelvic -- i fry to imagine my uterus accommodating the tumor the may it might once held a baby. almost had two of them. is a point to a uterus if you don't make a baby.
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was i growing a trauma baby. i remember years ago when i was going through a period when i seemed to be sick all the time. the shrink saying to me, you -- it was one of the words like individual wait. i had to look it up. sometize how the body defns against too much stress. much stress manifesting psychology stress as physical symptom in the stomach, nerves, or uterus or vie guy that. blarng blank they it turns out that it is related to history tiara which tends from the greek word uterus. it equals hysteria. they called me history tiara. intense, but what is extreme again? it dispendz on ten. what would be the appropriate
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level of emotional response to someone beating you daily? or calling you jackass or stupid or molesting you? what would be the nonhysteria response? what would be the appropriate response to people blindfolding other people and walking them around leashes or watching people abandoned on a rooftop in flood. a word to make women feel insane for knowing what they know. a woman that has so many implications. it's caused by suffering from a huge trauma whether there is an underlying conflict. what was my conflict? loving my mother and father? trying -- betraying my mother when my father molested me.
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being unable to stop the wanting to fall in love and unable to. what doesn't cause or reduce conflicted feeling. so removing my uterus means they removed my hysteria. i don't feel any less his territorial-type -- hysterical. actually they are making me feel upset. i wonder if there was a thing as rape cancer. do i have rape cancer? do we get if we have been molested or tropical tropical traumatized or raped? how many women with cancer have been raped or beaten or traumatized. does anyone know? would the mayo do a study. is there a way to cure rape cancer. does it release more rape cancer cell? is it obsessing the reason i'm
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sick? [laughter] there was that connection. [laughter] between trauma and cancer. i think after i came out of the surgery, it was a nine-hour operation, a lot had changed. and for the first time in my life, that exile from my body. i was in my body. i had been ported and pricked and poked, and i had landed in this body. very soon after that, after i got out of the hospital, i came back to new york, and i had a seriously bad infection. i had just of world infection in my gut the size of my gut. i had to be drained. this was happening at the exact same time that bp had the horrible spill in the gulf of mexico. ..
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16-ounces of pus, 2.52 million gallons of oil a day, and intraabdominal abscess, contamination from post-surgery, post-explosion leaking, the spread of infection to the blood stream, the ocean, my body is rupturing, exploding, the same day as bp.
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nothing can stop it. trying too shut it down but not able there is no stopping it and it smelts putrid, other worldly and fills the bag and the bag exploded and i'm puking. my get guts still raw from the surgery and it really hurts flint. the victims may include abdominal pain, chills, die re reia, oil penetration, destroying the plumbage of birds, making them less able to be in water, preening leads to kidney damage, altered liver function. alter dolphins blowing oil through the blow holes. hype themma, vomiting and weakness so this adjourn began, which i call the cancer conversion, where coming into hi body suddenly broke down the wall ms.~separateness, and i was
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an amazing, amazing journey in many ways. i have to say that i think that chemotherapy was the most frightening idea of the whole downie -- journey. the idea of putting poison into my body was completely terrifying. and i depend know if could i do it, and out of the blue -- this happened all through the cancer process -- somebody would show up and this brilliant therapist named sue, she said i've decided i'm going to come and sit on your couch once a week and give you free therapy as my gift and it was the nicest gift, and she said on my couch and i was really, really scared. i said to her i don't thick can do check therapy. -- chemotherapy. i think it will destroy me and it's western and i'm going to pass. she said, no, you're going to do chemo, and i said, no economy, said, i'm going to tell you something, and she said, the
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chemo is not for you. it's for the cancer. for all the past crimes. it's for your father. it's for the rapist. it's for the perpetrators. you're going to poison them now and they are never coming back. chemo will percentage -- purge that badness at that time was never yours but projected on you. i have total feather in your resilience and magical capacities of your body and soul for healing. your job is to welcome the chemo has an. the tick warrior is which coming to rescue you by killing off the perpetrator who got north dakota -- got inside you. you have many bodies and many more well be born out of this time. when you feel nauseous or terrible, just imagine how hard this chemo is fighting on your behalf, and on behalf of all women's bodies, restoring wholeness, innocence, peace, world baseball --
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welcome the chemo. i have to tell you i couldn't wait to get to chemo, and i'm not exaggerating. she gave me a frame and i think everything is about the frame and the way we experience, and my first chemo i sat there for five hours with me port, which miss superwoman port and is going to burn off the perpetrators, and i would sit there and just picture everything burning away that needed to go. and i went to a very profound process of night0s real sorrow, real darkness, going back to someplace then i would burn it off and let the chemo burn it off. and i he to tell you, it worked. by the end of chemo, the demons were gone. cancer taught me a lot. it taught me a lot. one of the things is it made my stop. and i want to read this section because i think more terrified -- i was more terrified to be honest stopping than i was of the cancer, and
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one day when i was in the hospital, this doctor -- i don't know where he came from -- appeared in my room. like a little gnome and he started talking to me. now i know why he was in my room. i am wearing sun glasses in my hospital bed for some rope. i was swollen and horrible and because of all the drugs i think a little lipstick sun glasses and my pink knit caps will make me look better but in fact i look insane. i am wearing sunglasses hoping the gnome man cannot see my eyes or hear my thoughts, which are spinning out of control at the mere suggestion of being a patient. that is what he has come to tell me, i need to be a patient. there's something scaring me even more than they cancer. it is the idea of stopping. the idea of being still. of not being able to do or make or travel or speak or organize or write. i don't want to be a fucking
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patient. then the italian doctor says it will be a threshold for you, eve you'll learn to have petty for yourself. you will three-be a patient. in that moment i want to wrap my i.v. tube around his neck and jerk it hard. as part of me rages and refuses, another part of me is already there. i watch it there, and it knows, truly knows, something else. the part of me like the gnome wants to crawl up in his lap and be his patient. this part is so tired, this part knows he is telling the truth. he is a guide giving me challenge, a vicious saying, this is it. your life has to change. it cannot be driven by need to prove anything. it cannot be a reaction, a fuck you and i'll show you, that's how you got sick. that's what your sickness is, overtaxing the body, the nervous system, fight for flight, all pushing and driving yourself, pushing and fighting and driving.
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i'm too tired now. i have cancer. my organs are gone. i have tubes coming out of me in a bag. my body is sewn up the center there, is no drive. i can't find the gears. i'm a patient. patient. patient. and something relaxes in the center of me for the first time since i heard my father raise his voice. and i sleep. i really sleep. [applause] >> so, the irony of cancer was that it was this disease of path logically subdividing cells that began to reunite me with so many things and connect me with so many things. it connect me with my sister, who i had not been connected with for a very long time.
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my father had managed -- i think this happens in many families where there's enormous violence there had been a huge division between my brother and my sister and i, which my father had really brought on. he managed to separate us and when i came out of the operation my sister was standing there and i thought i had died because i hadn't seen my sister for years. and i had not died. she had come to show up. and an amazing thing happened with my sister and i, because we both had never been able to give each other what we wanted. she needed me to listen to her and take her in, and she needed to take care of me because she had witnessed my abuse, and so we both got to do for each other what we'd always wanted to die. got to listen to her because i was too tired to talk. and she got to take care of me. and we healed over the months, and i have to tell you i fell in love with my sister, and she fell in love with me, and there was this gorgeous feeling. there will many other things that happened over those days
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and nights and one of them was that i felt -- fell in love with trees. i had always been separated from nature. a therapist said if you want to understand your relationship to groups, look at your relationship to your mother but i think if you want to understand your nature, look at your relationship mother. i was auld afraid of nature, felt foreign and at one point in the treatment i got put into this room. i couldn't move. all that was in front of me was a tree, and i couldn't do anything but look at the tree, and i thought this will be the end of me life, to stare at a tree. and then what happened on day two was i fell in love with the tree, and suddenly i saw a tree. i got the tree. i got trunks, it got leaves, i got trees, and that was the beginning of a whole new journey in my life, and i have to say this great irony happened that one of the cancer -- the chemo ingredients i had to take for uterine cancer was tax texasal
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and it is made from the needle of the tree so not only had i fallen in love with the tree but the tree was responsible for saving my life and i found the mother i had been looking for. on the days when it was really bad i focused on city of joy which was being built and i was so happy it was being bill and knew if i was in the worst shape i had to get on the phone with the director every single day to encourage her. that i wasn't going to die and i would be there. i want to say that this book is not, try this at it home. not one of those you have to get catastrophic cancer in order to come back into your body. ol a don't. that's why i wrote the book. i think there's ways to come back into yourself that involve all kinds of things that are not about getting sick, and i think one of things i learn instance when you're in your body you can't live in this half awake, half asleep state i lived in
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most of my life. we wake up, and being awake is such a beautiful place to be. at it much less fright 'king than being asleep. we're told if we deny things and push things away we'll be better and safer. in fact everything we deny makes us sicker. i knew i had symptoms of my cancer. but i never, ever let myself pay attention. i lived in that state of. -- as the tumor grew and with what we climate climate change, and we are half awake, and i have to tell you i have not goon back to sleep. i'm awake now and it's really nice to be awake there days when it's pourous and i cried all day but it's better than being depressed. it's not a cry of despair. it's cry of being alive. one thing that happened to me is i just was surrounded by so much love during my care. and i just want to take a moment to celebrate nurses, for
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example. i can't say enough about nurses. i could travel around the world singing the praises of nurses. the most unseen, undervalued people. but the work they do is the work that literally keeps people alive. young have the best doctors in the world but if your care afterwards isn't care, if it isn't care, if people aren't looking at you and touching you and feeling you and seeing you in the care, you don't get better. so i just want to take a moment to honor nurses. [applause] >> because they really shaped my life. [applause] >> and you know, there was so much love around me, my family, my friends, i said to tony, who is with me, i said if i die it's going to be so embarrassing to have had this much love and have died. but one of the things that happened -- it was really a profound moment -- i had this
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day when i suddenly understood what love was, and this -- called the burning meditation on love. before love was something you succeeded or failed at. it was like a corporate activity. you won or you lost. people loved you or they didn't. as with trees, i had missed the point. the men i in theory had loved and who in theory loved me had all dissed a. after years of involvement, not one found his way to my loft during those long burning months. i received a two-line e-mail from my husband of 15 years, a card from a business parter, and another one a lover. i heard he was insulted i had not reached out to tell him i had cancer. no blaming just the facts. i had failed at love or at the story i thought was about love. as i rode my burning body down to the bottom of the world i
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passed the ghosts and the glories of those love affairs. hideous moments and tender ones. honestly not much remained. no resentment, no longings, and that was most painful. to think that at 56 i had come to this no lover, no mate no nurturing memories. despair burns in me. there were days when the leaves of my romantic failings lit a bonfire inside me. the landscape was charred. there was no way forward. while this fire rage inside me, some other dance that i cooperate recognize was happening around me, cooking me soft boiled eggs at 5:00 a.m. to calm my stomach. amy, who i hardly new, stopping by unexpectedly and demanding to rub my feet. nico, coming from italy for an entire month and turning my loft into a summer place, shading -- shaving my head, and donna
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feeding me soup. and steven to take me to lunch and preten can i looked well. and photographing me naked with my bags. lawyer and elizabeth making me my sister showing up with dvds and toast. it was toast who, with the devotion of king lear, who gently kept me engaged in fighting, always there, never waiverring, never complaining. this daily simple gathering of kindnesses stretched out across the chemo days and months was in fact love. love. why hadn't i known that this was love? i was always reaching for love but turns out love doesn't involve reaching. i was dreaming of the big love, the ultimate love, the love that would sweep me off my feet or break through the hard shell of my lesser self, that would
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inspire me to give everything. was i aid there it occurred to me that while i was dreaming of this big, ultimate love, had been giving and receiving love for most of my life. also with the trees that were right in front of me i had been unable to value what sustained me, fed me, gave me pleasure, and as with the trees, i was so busy waiting for and imagining and reaching and dreaming and preparing for this huge big love that it totally missed the beauty and the perfection of the soft boiled eggs and the bolivian kinwa, so much of life is in the framing and naming of things. i had been so busy creating a future love that i never identified the life i was living as the life of love, because up until then i had never felt entitled enough or free enough or honestly brave enough to embrace my own narrative. ironically i had gone ahead and
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created the life i secretly must have wanted but it had to be covert and off the record. chemo was burning away the wrapper and suddenly i was in my version of life. thus began the ecstasy, the joy, the pure joy of the spiritual pirate who finds the secret treasure. [applause] >> so i have to say, of that, i began to get happy, and i think so much about everything if we're living somebody else0s store or life we don't get to be in the life we created. i finally was able to get through the last surgeries after chemo, which were hard surgeries. and i went back to the congo,, when i win back after the last
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takedown operation -- that's what happen the gate rid of your bag and reverse your colon and everything gets put back inside you. let me tell you, if you have had a bag, it's a humbling experience. because your shit is actually on the outside and you have to deal with it. when i went back to the congo, i was with the women who i had been with many times before, and many women in the congo, when they are raped, their insides are eadvice rated and they get something called fies stula because so many things have been shoved inside them and they have things and pee and pop and are compiled because they smelled to badly. there were so many thing tuesday that happened to me in keeping with the women of the congo. i had a similar operation to what the women had who had been raped. it was as if i had just been with them so deeply that things happened and when i went back to
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the congo, i was temporarily incontinent like they were and almost in the exact same state and it was an amazing experience to be at ground zero to actually know in my body exactly what the women of congo, who had been raped so badly, were experience, and when i got i think they were really freaked out by how skinny i was and i was bald and they didn't know what to too. so we just started dancing because that's what we do in the congo and women do, and they danced in a way i have never known or never, ever really been a part of. it's a joy. it's a craze. it's a transformation of pain to power, which really was the thing that inspired me to imagine one billion rising, because when i watched them dance that day, and i watched them turn that pain into power and i watched the bodies finding the resources and the movement to transform suffering in itself to turn it to joy, i suddenly thought, what if the one billion women on the planet who have been raped and beaten all danced on one day?
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what would happen? and it came to be and it was amazing. but that day was a very special day, and i'm very happy to say the city of joy did open and that's the postscript. we just graduated our third class. the girls are miracles. they are revolutionaries. they're leaders. they go back to their communities with training and with healing and with love and they are the most gorgeous, stunning, role models aif -- i have ever seen. i want to close with this last part of the book. i don't even know how to talk about how lucky i feel and how blessed i feel every day. to the point where it sometimes you feel ridiculous that i got to be alive, then i got have this life and i and get to meet the people i get to meet in the world and i feel i'm in the second wind and i'm kind of post death now. i feel like i dade. that happens. and now we can get on with doing what we have to do.
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and i really do feel like there's much less to be afraid of and there is lots to do in terms of waking up. we have to wake up. the time is now to wake up. so i want to close with this last section of the book. and i want to do it tonight for all the people here oh have been catalysts for other people waking up andle see gratitude for that. if have lost my organ and at times my mind. i know it is a race now between the people who are helping themselves to the earth, to the loot, and the rest of us. either we go all the way now or there is no more way. who will step off the wheel. who will join the women who have lidone forests in the projects in the loud and cramped cities and carry sacks on their backs and hungry babies on their breasts, who are not counted but whose strength hold up the world. who will stand behind them and trust they have always known the way. the world burps in my veins just
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like chemo did only a few months ago. i dare you to stop counting and start acting to stop pleasing and start defying. i dare to us trust what we know. the second wind is beyond data. it's past pain. it's found in the bloodstream and cells of the women and men who purged the poise son of their perpetrators, who walked through the cancer and nightmare. the second wind is from your body, you mouth, the way you move your hips. every vision is necessary now. every instinct must be awake en. the wind does not turn away. it blows through everything. do not be afraid. there is no more winning and losing. we have already lost. even the so-called winners feel that way. that is why they can't stop self-destructing. step off the wheel of winning and losing. of course there is risk. of course it is dangerous, i wish i could make this easy for you and tell you there is
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nothing to lose. lose everything. that is where it begins. each one of you will know in what direction you need to move and who to take with you. you will recognize the others win when you arrive. build the circles. listen to the voice inside and when they say this is the only way, some can top it, we need the oil, the drilling texas the racketers, the fracturing, the coal, stay tight in your circles, dance in your circles, sing in the circles, join arms in the circles. century rein -- your comfort. we must be willing to go the distance for our mother. we must be willing to lead the kingdom, surrender the treasures of approval and jewels. we are the people of the second wind. we know who we are. we have been undermined, reduced, and minimized. we have been endowed with incredible strength. you know who you are. you have been made to feel less for knowing the way. you know the way that is called
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for -- has called forth the second wind, let us release it in ourselves and be taken, wind, wind, be as transparent as wind, be as possible and relentless and dangerous, be what moves thingses forward without needing to leave a mark. be part of this collection of molecules that begins somewhere unknown but can't help but keep rising. rising. rising. [applause] [applause] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. >> thank you very much. [applause]
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>> thank you. so we can do questions or responses or feelings or whatever you'd like. does anyone want to start? [inaudible] >> thank you. thank you. thank you. very much. >> yeah, brave person. >> thank you. i'm going to say you're the -- two things. one, my mom had uterine cancer and very emotional but let me see my mom for the first time, so, wow. she is also my friend. i'm sorry. i want to know, how did you find yourself in your body change your view over your relationship
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with your mother, and you just finished the monologues and i just want to say so much thank you for those. >> thank you. thank you, oh, thank you. >> i love what you said. you know, first question about being in my body, how did it change my relationship with my mother. that's the question. you know, a very amazing thing happened during my surgery. during my whole cancer conversion. my mother died in the middle of it and i talk about it in the book. and my mother had had cancer three times in the last -- the third time it came back, and i had a very troubled relationship with my mother in terms of remoteness and coldness and i was in the worst part of my cancer when my mother was clear she wasn't going to live much long sore i had to get on a plane to and fly to florida in a vary, very weakened state and when i got -- when i got there it was really a very profound
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thing, and for many reasons. one, because my mother never could see me at all. that why i was moved when you said you saw your mother, and i walked in bald the first thing she said was, i leak your hair. i'm not kidding you. and rather than saying i have no hair, and i said thank you, and i kept acting like i had hair. so bizarre. but -- can i read you the mother section? could i do that? i haven't read that outloud and i think i need to read that for you. it will tell you -- i'll say it better there. called "the last time i saw my mother." hold on. sorry. rrr, it here it is. >> i love your hair. was the last time i saw my
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mother. i feed her chock has ice cream and want to believe there was a time she did this for me. i have no memory ofmer putting food in my mouth. i hate her. here i am having climbed out of my chemo cocoon to fly south and feed her chocolate ice cream. here i am taking care of her, hoping one day she might field compelled to take care of me. an old shrink says if you paste arms on your, eventually she will hug you. i am shocked at my rage, shocked she didn't pause when i entered her hospital room to say, you came. you flew here in the-month-old chemotherapy to be with me? instead she talked about how much she loved my hair. she has told all the nurses i will start fashion with my hair and it will be the rage in new york. i have never set fashions. most of my life i couldn't figure out what to wear. she insists i take off my scarf and i do it because she is so ill. i want to make her happen and
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she says, i love it. i love your hair. i want to scream, are you looking at me? me? me? i am bald. feel it. my head. there's nothing there. there's in hair. if if handcarry certification just had half my organize gaps reviewed and i could die and i'm not -- i'm 57 and i got on the plane. i rest my fucking life to fly here for you. you. but i don't say that. no, i never do. i laugh and fool at my nonexistent hair. then she talks by in the niece katherine's long blonde hair and stunning face identical to her own. she can't stop talking birth in pretty niece. pretty just like her. then she catches herself and says, oh, know, you're pretty, too you're all pretty, she says, like: drinks on the house! and i say, i do not look like you. i never have. i am their now pret, and this conversation feels so momentum i
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claim the chemo antinausea medication. her long red fingernails look strangely out of place with her hospital gown. they're the only part of the invented her that remains. she is bone and moles and catheter tools and bruises and itchy i.v.s, her long white hear is so fine it gets caught in everything. i think she is dozing when she says out of nowhere, guilt. my sister and i say, guilt? she says, i'm guilty i did not love you all more. i live. i said you have been a loving mother. there's nothing to be guilty about. and i think, what will this guilt do for anything of is? will this reverse the bruises on my legs and neck from being checked and whipped, undo all the things, make me understand whyow woke up my drunken raging father from his stubbor to report things things to him.
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things you knew would move him to violence. come week, she snuck out with a boy. she is smoking, arthur, you must handle this, and usually he did with a drunking, raging monster you steered in my direction. guilt. i lie. i asked her if she wants to see my scar. she doesn't, she never has. i show her anyway. the nurse who takes care of her pre tens to be interested. i show her he scar the length hoff miers to so. she looks and says, mine is much larger. mine wraps around my body. my hour has no such scar. when she said -- when i had to have chemotherapy she said, i've had it, it's not so bad. then i never -- learned she never had chemo. some is so frail. she looks unbaseballable bought she is not.
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she has outlived everyone who believed she was breakable and treated her like china, hag survived three types of cancer. said i have no desire to live that long. she is 85 and living without a lung. i rub her very bony chest and i get her to breath in and out, in and out. i calm her down. i really am surprised i am able to do this. some is a child. i am her mother. i get her to close her eyes and then she leans her head against mine and i dvd do -- i decide to talk to her through our heads and tell her everything. i decide, this moment will be the moment i press my head right up against hers and i tell her how angry i have been, and i say, mom, it's over. i waited my whole life and you're not coming. i say, i wanted to believe your wall would come down and you would remember me and feel for me and worry about me. i say, it didn't happen. i hated you for this and i carried this hate my whole life. i hated you because you did not protect me or teach me that
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through protecting me i had a right to protection myself. i say i got sick. i'm done blaming you. i didn't happen. it was, it isn't. i want to move on and not search the world for my mother and not crave adoration. i want to get free, mom. so i freed you. -- so i free you. we sit there head-to-head and i know she can hear what i'm saying, and i feel my body relax and my aversion and hunger leave me and she relaxes and we fall asleep like that. i wake at 4:00 a.m. on a cot in a room and she moaning. she is brighting. the air conditioning is so cold and lonely. i climb into her bed and wrap myself around her the way i always dreamed she would wrap herself around me. i unfold the blankets around her shivering bones and pull her to me and hold her so tight, her moening stopped. then in here sleep she says, i was having a terrible nightmare,
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eve. i dreamed they came to take our hearts. they didn't want mine. they wanted yours the most. they're coming to take our hearts. i want to ask, who is they? but somewhere i know. i hold her even tighter and i hear my voice deepen and i say, don't be afraid. they won't get our hearts. i won't let them. i promise. the next morning they moved my mother to the cardiac unit because her heart had now become the problem. it is where we do not live that the dying comes. [applause] >> talking about moving -- one year i went through a divorce
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and broke my back and lost everything, and it took me about six months before someone mentioned, oh, you're starting to experience the gifts of the crash. and do you ever have a moment when you say i'm experiencing a gift i never thought i would get? >> that's what the whole book is about. i think -- again, like everything is how we frame it. right? one of the first talks i gave after i got out of bed was called the gift of cancer, and i think, look, i'm an apologist for cancer, it's hideous, but if we frame things in a way where we saw these terrible moments as the way of healing and releasing and cleansing and purging and transforming ourselves its would be very different how we purchase them, and for me cancer was just like, okay, we get to go in, we get to deal with it, you know. and i feel -- i feel very
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grateful for it. yeah. yes. >> firstly, eve is such a perfect name for you. and i am one of those nurses who -- >> oh, yay! [applause] >> so, in that regard, i've actually worked pediatric oncology, but with the insights, openings, surges of consciousness you had at sloan or wherever and that the expansion, getting rid of bounds, of the love that was -- you were exploding with this feels like, how did you find the way to help relate that with people that were in a much more
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conventional mindset, let's say, as another patient, physician, whoever it was, and i just think you're totally awesome. >> thank you. you're awesome. you know, it wasn't sloan-kettering. the police i -- place that i had my operation and healed me is the mayo clinic. it's the closest we have to socialized medicine in this country and it's rashable. it's an interesting question because i have written this book so that's how i'm transmitting what happened to me. i'm just amazed. i have been in maybe five cities now. i'm amazed about how people understand what i'm talking about. i have been talking to a lot of oncology gists and doctors and therapists about how we create -- i think we should stop calling it chemotherapy and call it transformational therapy and start creating places that are transform craigal suites where
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people go everytime they get their chemo so they can begin to process what is going on inside them and people are not totally adverse to hearing about this. every doctor i have spoken to acknowledges the connection between trauma and disease. and one thing i really want to talk about is how -- there's so many women who have been abused. one out of three. i have no idea how many men but i knowledge imagine all the time how many. i think there must be many, many, many. i think one of the thing that happens when you go and get sick is that it's almost a re-enactment of the abuse. everything is being done to you. right? people sticking things into you. people opening you up. people are knocking you out. people are -- and it's very retriggerring in terms of trauma, and i think we need to work with health professionals to teach them how not only to be aware of this but how to work with that in helping people recover from ill unless. it's all so integrated, and i
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feel very excited to be having this discussion, and people seem much more receptive than i thought they would be. >> thank you very much for coming and sharing your story. so beautiful. i just want to ask you what it's like coming from the great mayo clinic and traveling to the congo and how were you able to kind of bridge the gap in privilege with the care you received and the care for women in congo. >> it's a very good question. i want to tell you a great story about the mayo. i had -- before i got sick i was working with doctors at the mayo clinic through various circumstances to bring them to pansy hospital, and they were going to do operations and help them, and we had been building this whole team of doctors from the mayo who were coming, and they weren't my doctors. they approached me because they nye of my work. so this weird thing happened
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which is that volcano happened and they couldn't go to the congo and it was the same week that i got sick. so i called the doctor who was working on it and she said come tomorrow and that's how i ended up at the mayo clinic, and i'm happy to say they actually went back with me the first time i went back and did operate and they did work with the doctor and they're now giving his son a full scholarship, which he is about to graduate and will go back a full doctor. one of the things i want to say. one of the hardest things is to look at places like the congo, which doesn't have a cat scan machine. i don't think all of eastern congress -- maybe there's one cat scan machine in all of congo, and i have this world vision we have cat scans in every country and start developing that, because in the congo you don't get diagnosed with cancer, when you get it, you just die. die feel insanely privilege? i fell ridiculously privileged. i go and think of all the energy and time and care that went into supporting this body when people
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are barely surviving every day on a banana, and i think one just lives with that duality and contradiction and pull, and i do everything i can to find resources and support the women of congo and the doctor and pansy hospital and raise as much money as i can so he can do what he does. thank you for the question. [applause] >> hi. i'd like to be a little more eloquent than i'm going to be because my brain and my heart are spinning a little bit. my first thank you is when i was -- -- you have been a little light in my life. that's kind of followed me through to the years since then and i want to thank you for that. >> thank you. >> and secondly i really want to thank you for naming coming into your body, because i have a daughter who is 19 months old
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and i had a really difficult pregnancy and she is like the most amazing thing that existed in the world, and i have had this incredible transformation that i haven't been able to -- it's coming -- going very fast and it's wonderful, great things are happening, and i haven't been able to put my finger on it, what it is, and it is me finally feeling happy with my body, and comfortable with my body, and i'd like to think it's my daughter but i think it's a lot of me which i have never been able to give myself the credit for it. and what is go on is incredible but now i feel like i can understand it and i'm looking forward to reading your book and now feeling more complete and more whole because i can name what it is that is happening to me, which is a thing -- i'm so
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happy about it. >> i'm so great you got into your body through birth and not sickness. yay! yes. it's an amazing feeling. it's like coming home. you know? it's wonderful. thank you for sharing that. >> two more questions and then we'll close. >> i feel bad for the people -- yes. >> so i -- first, thank you, and, second, i am really -- i just want to know if you think that it's possible to end rape? is that possible? and all about one billion rising and i do all the activities but i can't help but think -- and i know that -- i can't help but think that as long as men exists it's still going to happen. i just can't conceive of a world in which that doesn't happy anymore. >> this is what want to say to that. if we can't conceive things they don't health -- they don't
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happen. the part of the work i'm doing on the regular basis is cop seiving that and seeing -- conceiving that and seeing it is possible. [applause] >> when i came out of my crazy cancer confusion -- conversion and i announced in my board and all my team we were going to get a billion people to rise, they said, did you say a million? i said, no, i said a billion. and they said, right. there's 14 of us and i said, we're going to get a billion people to rise because i actually saw it. i saw it. and i -- i never doubted it. and i learned something really powerful. you actually see things and commit yourself to your vision, things happen. and you can't waiver and you can't back off. when people are saying, why would people dance? what does dancing do? if i hear that question one more time i'm going out of my mind. a billion people, really, eve? as if i'm a bad person for thinking of it. right? as if something was wrong with
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me that i would dream -- almost like if you dream of violence ending, something is wrong with you. people get pissed at you they like your misery. they want to keep it. but one of the things i learned it, on the night before the rising i was in the congo, and i thought to myself, well, this could be a real egg on your face moment. if no one gets up tomorrow morning around the world and dances. but i also said to myself, but what will have been lost? nothing. nothing. and in fact, 207 countries rows. i think we had a billion people. i'm looking at the videos. the thousands of videos with women, with lamps on their head and women in skirts and women in the european lobby doing flash mobs everywhere on this planet, and i really am never going to be talked out of what i see, and it's really about imagining things and believing things and going for it. [applause]
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>> hello, miss eve. i first want to say that because of you, i've started a women's club at my -- >> woo-hoo. >> i now have an awakening within myself and i want to spend my life empowering women and the world just as you have done. and its an honor to speak with you right now. so, think a lot about the self-awakening and how in times of distress and how we often feel like we have hit rock bottom, we can rise to what happened and we can have this self-awakening and we can change ourselves and change the world. but i want to know how we can change ourselves and how the self-awakening even when we don't hit rock bottom. when i talk to my friends and my mom, who is having a bad day, or all the other girls and the women in the world and they don't necessarily have the same
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experiences that sometimes -- how can we make this an everyday thing and every person thing and just a way of life, a way of escaping something terrible? >> how old are you? >> 27. >> you're awesome. [applause] >> i want to be you when i grow up. wow! that's incredible. that just made my day. whoever you are. it's the best question you could have asked, because the truth of the matter is, i don't think we need to make the earth unhabitable so everybody dies before we get it i don't think we have to get cal chicago illness, we don't have to care about rape about other women being raped. it is a process of being aware of your beg and when you're in it and when you're not in it
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and, when you're alive in yourself and disconnect. when you feeling compassion and discompassion, i heard a beautiful man speak the other night, a fantastic panel where we talked about rape and mass christianity and there are some fantastic men the panel and a coach name -- named joe and he said he was a transformational couch. there are traps satisfactional coaches and there are transforational coach. a transactional coach teaches boys to win also any cost, anything to get to the goal. step over, kill, maim, destroy, just get to the goal. i'm a transformational coach. he says i teach boys how to be human beings and good athletes at the same time. and i have to tell you it was like a turning point moment when you go my gosh. and every since i have seen the world as transforming or transacting. am i transforming or transing aing? , a i doing something do move ahead ahead or something that's
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gene to transform around me and make the world better, and i think one of the things we don't have very much anymore in america is principles. we don't have guiding principles. we don't have things we live for, things we get up in the morning and we're connected to, and at city of joy we have ten guiding principle that everybody lives by, and i watch how they become not cages but freedom, because everybody is united around those principles so they become the pathway that everybody can walk together. i would like to just suggest if you start live your life to be transforming as opposed to be transacting you will get back in your body because you can't be speeding past yourself to win if you're taking care of the people around you in order to transform them, and as you transform other people you will indeed transform yourself. so thank you very much. you're awesome. awesome. thank you. [applause]
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thank you all very much. you're an amaze audience. thank you. thank you, a lot. you rock. you rock. thank you. >> what really -- i have never seen any report in the u.s. in any main news has been the story of these people that live with the constant sirens go off everytime a rocket is close by, and they have 15 seconds to get into a bomb shelter. i went to visit some elderly people at a kabutz, maybe of them in their 70s and hadn't
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slept through the night. this was in 2009 during the operation, but in the months preceding that, and part of what triggered it was this constant bombardment and people hear about is in a way that is backwards. they hear that israel has made a strategic strike on a particular person or a particular target, and that was responded to with rockets. that is the wait it's reported most of the time. when in fact the rockets have been going -- there have been over 12,000 rockets in the last ten years. and some of them are small. made in grandma's garage but a lot of them are now iranian or larger that are not just what they call small rockets. these people have to get up and run everytime there is a siren, and they do it because they know
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they can we killed and people are killed. whether they're killed in great numbers, depends on where it strikes. but these people were taking antidepressants, the children in the area were all bed-wetteres. the people that i went to see were being bussed to a lot for a three-day weekend so they could sleep in a hotel where there was no disturbance. these are old people. they don't want to leave there but a woman said to me, how can you come sneer my children won't come and visit. aren't you afraid to be here? and there were explosions going off nearby. i didn't hear sirens. i just heard explosions. less than a mile from gaza. these people lived that way. the mothers that have to get their babys into the shelter. there's a little piece i quote in the book written by a mother, says which child should i grab? she has five children. which one do i take first? everytime she is making these decisions. so that state is ongoing. it has -- it's quiet right now because of the recent so-called
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truce with hamas, and everyone knows it will start up again. went to the north after the lebanon war,ant and i -- my friend janet and i was on the tour i was on and we were in israel during the 2006 war. there the north was bombarded, and these were larger rockets. these were katushs and we went and saw some of the places they had struck. and half the house was gone. people had gone to jerusalem or gone somewhere else. most of them were living there, but some were in shelters for a month. living in the shelters. the state of war in israel is such that it's such a little country, and people always say it's the size of new jersey so even if it's the south, everybody has a relative there. everybody's kidneys the army there -- kid is in the army there. it's not like america where you hear of this. this is everybody's problem. and the phone starts ringing when these things heat up, and
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even my phone, and particularly recently when we actually had sirens in jumpum -- in jerusalem for the first time in 30 years and that's an interesting experience. you find yours wondering, should i take a shower or not take a shower? or -- am i going to sleep any normal pa jam malls because i have to bepy with my neighbors in a bomb shelter and i don't want them to see those. these are stupid things to think but the consciousness of it is what happens. it pervades everything. so the state of war in israel is a danger, a threat, and a consciousness. but it's also a way of going on with life no matter what. and that is that the israelis are best at, is they just go on. and they celebrate life. they don't just sit around and worry. they have dinner, and they have
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bar mitt -- bar mitzvahs and it's a culture that celebrates life in the face of danger, and that's what i really would say sums up the culture. >> that's the -- shifting from the misconception of what life really is like, and since you mentioned the north, i -- in the book you mention that when you were there in the city in the north of israel that you met with the mayor and he was, i guess, standing in the rubble of city hall or something like that. but what was his -- >> well, the people there who have been in shelters for almost a month, were very upset the war ended when it did. theyn't waded finished and they said we'll live in shelters for three months if this will be the end of it. his view was they burned
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gentries, we plant 100 trees. we rebuild, and we prepare for the next time because some day we're going to be the gateway to israel and the lebanese will come and we will have dinner together. that is our goal. we want to be the gateway to the north. and he was all about building, and rebuilding, and planting, and trees are a very big deal in israel. it's the only country in the world that has more trees at the turn of the 21 system than at the beginning of the 20th 20th century, and everybody plants trees everytime they turn around. so the first thing thing they do is plant trees and more trees were burned and that's what he talked about. it's a defiance and also the spirit of building and life and -- yeah. the people were sorry the war ended whenned did, and everyone knew it ended badly because it was cut short of success. but they just wanted to be able
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to get peace and live their lives again. that's what they wanted to do. >> here's a look at the upcoming book fairs and festival around the nation.
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>> charles johnson is next on booktv. he recounsels president calvin coolidge's tenure and argues his legacy has been distorted and disregarded. this is about an hour. [applause] >> i want thank you all for coming here today. it's quite an honor. although i'm not in love with the college i find myself wishing i war with people i meet here. many half hi professors were
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classmates or teachers of the teachers at the hillsdale college but i wish i had known of this college. calvin coolidge was our last classically educated president and he would have found comfortable here...

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